GLENDALE — Perhaps nothing could be better than taking a 150-mile bus ride north and stopping at a Santa Barbara cafe on an unseasonably warm winter day.
The Glendale High girls’ water polo team found something even more to its liking after reaching its final destination — a playoff victory.
Glendale received a team-high five goals from Kristina Terzyan and four from Katren Ter-Oganesyan to record a lopsided 14-5 win on Tuesday against Santa Ynez in a CIF Southern Section Division IV wild-card match at Lompoc Aquatic Center.
The Nitros (16-8) will next compete against second-seeded Rio Mesa (23-6) in a first-round road match at 3:15 p.m. Thursday. Rio Mesa reached the championship match last season.
The Nitros stopped for lunch in Santa Barbara before going to work against Santa Ynez (12-15). The Nitros, who finished fifth in the Pacific League before receiving an at-large berth, never trailed.
“It was a long trip,” said Glendale first-year Coach Forest Holbrook, who guided the school’s boys’ team to the Division VI semifinals last season. “We left school around 10:15 a.m. and we stopped for lunch in Santa Barbara because we needed a break.
“We started off pretty well in the game by jumping out to a big lead [late in the first quarter].”
Glendale, which spent part of the season ranked in the top 10, scored four goals in a four-minute span late in the first quarter to grab a 6-1 lead. The Nitros built an 8-2 halftime advantage.
Terzyan, who scored two goals in the second and third quarters, said the Nitros wasted little time getting started.
“We took a lot of outside shots and were able to finish them,” Terzyan said. “We played at a good level.
“Now, we just have to keep doing the same things [against Rio Mesa].”
Glendale received two goals from Milene Minassians and one each from Desiree Solano Garcia, Anabel Beiki and Alique Berberian.
Glendale starting goalkeeper Marquita Lopez finished with 10 saves, including one on a five-meter shot. Lopez was replaced in the fourth quarter by Christine Grade, who registered three saves.